The evening before Gay Pride, thirtysomething couple Nigel and Jamie celebrate their 10th anniversary by finding someone on the internet dating site Gaydar for the night. The problem is that their chosen squeeze, Mark, is looking for something more than a one-night stand and, as a result, Jamie begins to question his relationship...
And another thing. What this play does extremely well is put “gay life” under a microscope and dissect it, showing quite how vacuous and shallow it really is. This is shown particularly well when Gay Pride is being discussed; one character says “It used to be about politics, about making speeches, about the fight for freedom – now its just marketing; selling crap with rainbow flags on and calling it equality”. Right on, Sister! Without wishing to sound like a Bitter Old Queen (bitter – yes; old – getting there; queen – you decide) it is a simple fact that “We did all the work and they get all the benefit”. Young gay men do have it so effing easy these days, and know little (and care less) about the Bad Old Days of pre-1967, or even the Just As Bad Old Days of La Thatcher and her attempts to demonise gay men and drive us back underground. The days of speechifying and waving placards have to be explained to Mark, the teenage boy in terms of his own frames of reference – gay activist Ian McKellen has to be referred to as “Gandalf”. Its actually quite disturbing to think that, to the Young and Pretty, this is who Ian McKellan is. Potential shags used to be met by writing to a box number with a passport-sized photo enclosed – now all you have to do is log on to the net and you can be making the beast with two backs in 20 minutes. God, I sound old.
Anyway, full marks to Matthew Todd, the writer, for putting it all into words, and providing some hilarious one-liners and a fair few eye-wiping moments. All three of the cast were excellent – Paul Keating (you may have seen him in the Chocolate Factory’s production of Little Shop of Horrors) was first class as Jamie, biceps, Aussiebums and all. Stuart Laing played Nigel as a glib, slimy, untrustworthy charlatan with the charm of Old Nick himself – the kind of man our mothers warned us about but whom we invariably find ourselves lured into bed by (well, at least I do) and Daniel Finn was sweet, blond, stacked and not quite so butter-wouldn’t-melt-in-his-mouth as he would have you believe.
The only thing that didn’t quite come across was the sofa – do gay men really shop for furniture in Habitat any more? Soooooooo 80’s old hat, dharling.
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